Friday, 3rd May, 2019
By Tyler Hannigan
Set up by dominant first and third quarters, West ran away with an easy 53-point win over North on Wednesday night in round two of the Under 18 competition.
It was a strange start to the game given that while West controlled both possession and territory and made it count with four first-quarter goals, North were fantastic around the stoppages and led the clearances five to one.
The Bulldogs’ tackling was also top-notch with 10 for the term but they just couldn’t stop West going forward with the Robins entering their attacking fifty 11 times for eight scoring shots.
Trailing by 27 points going into the second term, North now had use of the breeze going towards the city end of Jubilee Oval but it was now West who had control of the clearances. They won 5-4 overall but crucially led 4-1 out of the centre.
Again though, the clearance dominance didn’t translate to the scoreboard with North booting their first two goals, through Tom McRae and Kody Ellis, to reduce the margin back to 14 points.
North were on top for most of this quarter with their tackling pressure remaining high and they went forward eight times to West’s five.
West did make those entries count, however, as North took their foot off the pedal late in the term allowing the Robins to hit back with goals from Austin Wilson and Bryce Cieslik to give them a 26-point advantage at halftime.
It was in the third quarter which sealed the result as West ran rampant. They scored 10 times from 12 inside fifties including goals to Jack Burke, Nick Schofield, Dylan Foggo and a pair to skipper Brock Ellis.
North had no answer and had only two forward fifty entries in the quarter as their work rate dropped. They went into the final break down by 61 points and were now just playing to restore some respectability to the score line.
West may have put the cue in the rack for the last quarter but North’s effort was better as the Dogs laid 13 tackles to West’s seven, broke even at the stoppages and went forward 10 times to West’s three to win the term 2.3 to 1.1.
It mattered for little though as West walked away with an impressive 53-point victory to remain undefeated after two rounds.
Ellis was the stand out for the Robins as he pushed them into attack on countless occasions and kicked two goals as well. Nick Schofield was extremely clean around the stoppages and almost always made the right decisions while Jack Burke found plenty of the ball around the ground as well as booting two goals.
Kingsley Hocking and Blake Rogers always looked to make something happen with their run or ball use and Jacob Johnstone was calm in defence as per usual.
For North, Dan Kennedy and Tom McRae were easily their best. Kennedy worked hard throughout the night while McRae took the game on whenever he could and had a good showing in the ruck.
West controlled the territory battle with 31 inside fifties to North’s 23 but the sides were almost even in terms of clearances.
North easily led the tackles 38 to 20 and while it’s tough to tackle if you have most of the possession, 20 is still quite low and something that West coach Hagen Grose will likely address ahead of their clash with South next week.
WEST: 12.10 (82) def
NORTH: 4.5 (29)
Goals: West - B. Ellis 2, B. Cieslik 2, J. Burke 2, K. Hocking, A. Wilson, F. Murray, N. Schofield, D. Foggo, B. Rogers
North - D. Kennedy, K. Ellis, T. McRae, T. Burcher
Best: West - B. Ellis, N. Schofield, J. Burke, J. Johnstone, K. Hocking, B. Cieslik
North - D. Kennedy, T. McRae, B. Gebhardt, J. Cain, T. Lihou, K. Ellis